Joel & Monica Mayeski
Joel & Monica Mayeski met and married in Pennsylvania, where their sons were born. In 2011, their eyes were opened to the atrocity of modern-day slavery, a.k.a. human trafficking. They were already aware of the trauma that abuse and neglect can cause children. Their hearts were broken for those who have been so inhumanely treated. With combating human trafficking as their end-vision, they followed where they believed God was leading them and resigned from their jobs in September of 2012, went into missions training, and arrived in Thailand the following September of 2013.
Joel & Monica both have a heart to see the abolition of human slavery in our present day. When they arrived in Thailand, they began to search for practical ways they could move forward in this movement against trafficking. After completing a missions apprenticeship program, God connected them with ZOE International through a number of "random" situations, and they found that their heartbeats were the same - prevention, rescue, restoration, love, honor and empowerment. They made the decision to serve with ZOE in 2016, and they are excited to see God move powerfully on behalf of the lost and hurting in Thailand and around the world.
Joel's area of focus is the preventative end of anti-trafficking. He earned a Bachelor's degree in Landscape Architecture from Temple University in 2001. After almost 10 years of employment in landscape architecture, his heart was divided between the technical job that he had gone to university for and the passion he had to work with people. This passion to make a difference in people's lives led him into houseparenting and then missions, alongside of his wife and children. He began working with ZOE in July of 2016 to manage a U.S. government grant that ends in September of 2017. When he returns to Thailand in January of 2018, he will be working on global prevention efforts that tie the work across ZOE's five international offices together. His heart is to see awareness increase, people prevented from being trafficked, men restored in their view of women, and societal transformation in how we approach the most vulnerable in our communities.
Monica's area of focus is restoration. She graduated from Gettysburg College with a Bachelor's degree in Psychology & Elementary Education, also in 2001. She then served in the U.S. Peace Corps as well as working as an elementary school teacher and foster care case manager, prior to houseparenting. Monica's interest has always been in heart-healing approaches of counseling and prayer to deal with life wounds, trauma, and abuse. A person can escape from abuse, but they cannot escape from the memories. Monica has begun working with the counseling department and children's home at ZOE and will continue to work in those areas, as well as any other restoration type of work that is needed at ZOE. Her heart is to serve, lift up, and empower others so that they are equipped to share God's heart of restoration with those who have experienced hardships. As Jesus shared in Galatians 5:1, "It is for freedom that I have set you free."
Joel & Monica's two boys have joined with them in life and ministry in Thailand. Believing that God is a God of healing and restoration, who leads, protects, and heals everyone who calls on Him, they are joining together as a family to "fight hate with love" and see lives changed, restored and rescued!